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Flying Experience for Rhode Street school

Twenty-eight Rhode Street school pupils will have the lucky experience of flying in the only surviving Royal New Zealand World War Two veteran aircraft still operating today in a front-line service. Thanks to Chris Jordan, CEO of the Child Flight Charitable Trust, and Duane Emeny, General Manager of Air Chathams, these pupils will fly in the airline’s Douglas DC3 on Sunday November the 25th, 2018.

Mr Shane Ngatai, Prinicipal of Rhode Street School, said Jordan had approached him about a month ago with the offer as part of the Leadership Programme in place for their Year Seven students. Rhode Street School is a decile 2 full primary school in Hamilton with 250 pupils in total. Forty-eight Year Sevens’ are competing for a seat on the plane.

“This has been a great learning opportunity for the kids. Not only have they had to put forward a strong case for their own selection, they have researched the DC3 and learnt that it is a double propeller powered aircraft, when it flew and what makes it special. We’ve used the flight, the selection and the research for writing exercises and discussions around engineering and safety,” said Mr Ngatai, “Some of the students were worried that as an “old” plane it might fall out of the sky! It’s provided a real motivation to learn.”

Very excited students have gotten over their initial concerns and now can’t wait to be up in the air. The successful passengers will be chosen by Mr Jordan and will be flying on the second of three scenic flights this weekend.



Child Flight NZ provides New Zealand special needs, disadvantaged and vulnerable children especially from low socio-economic areas, the opportunity for a different perspective of their world. They encourage aviation and education communities through New Zealand to help support their programme and provide a spatial experience of flight.

Air Chathams is flying the DC3 from its usual base at the Classic Flyers Museum in Tauranga to Hamilton and return at no charge. Hamilton Airport is providing a terminal lounge for the day and, along with Airways, waiving all landing fees.

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